Heart Issues, Hard Decisions

Suppose you have a friend who is

  • A victim of rape and bears the rapist’s child. She wants to abort the child in the hope of removing herself from the painful reality.
  • Part of a 8 year long childless marriage which is breaking down. The doctor suggests IVF and she thinks this will unite them again and save their marriage.

As Catholics, we often know what is right by the Church but when it comes to standing alongside a friend (who may be catholic or non-catholic), we often find ourselves at a loss. I think to myself, my friend is suffering and she knows best of her solution. Who am I to tell her what she should do, when talking – as they say – is cheap? Furthermore, if my friend is non-Catholic, it would be impossible to make her see why she should follow the rules of the Church when abortion and IVF is legal and almost common place in many countries! (10624 abortions were carried out in Singapore in 2012).

At this point, we must be very mindful that God’s laws are not made for His own amusement. Even in a secular setting, the choices He urges us to make is what is best for us and for humanity.

Abortion for example, takes away all traces of human dignity because essentially we are robbing the right for the unborn child to make any decision – including the choice to live. How can we then take abortion lightly while gasping when a mother strangles a one month old baby?

When discussing abortion, the Catechism teaches that, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person… (CCC 2270; emphasis added). From this we can see that the Church clearly understands the first moment of a person’s existence to be the moment of conception.

forums.Catholic.com

With regards to IVF, the Church has always emphasized on the sanctity of marriage. What happens in IVF is that the eggs and the sperms are extracted separately from the couple and are made to join in the unnatural setting (a lab for example). Several unions are made typically and upon subsequent testing, the ‘best’ match will be selected and inserted into the woman. No prizes for guessing what happens to the ‘not-so-good’ matches.

On the same topic, it has become a reality where couples could actually genetically design their children. It could even go into specifics such as the color of their hair, the color of their eyes etc. It becomes kind of odd isn’t it, to reject children made in the image of you and your partner?

At the same time, we touched based on softer topics such as genetic testing of embryos for particular conditions such as down syndrome. In this case, we have to stop and reflect on our true intentions. Are we doing the test so that we can prepare ourselves and to provide a better life for our children with special needs or are we bailing out of God’s blessing?

Hence, moving back to our initial questions:

  • A victim of rape and bears the rapist’s child. She wants to abort the child in the hope of removing herself from the painful reality.
  • Part of a 8 year long childless marriage which is breaking down. The doctor suggests IVF and she thinks this will unite them again and save their marriage.

Yes, we can never enforce our beliefs or opinions on others. However, we have to help each other in discovering and exploring the truth. Only then can we make an informed ethical choice in any difficult situation. And this can be done through of course by having regular conversations with God and doing our due diligence to read up on literature.

But one of the few initial steps could be to first take care of your friend’s feelings and pain – as it could be easy to focus too much on the child and neglect your friend’s agony. Accompany her for professional help if needed and try to explore less invasive solutions such as adoption.

Link to Donum Vitae.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s